Eating out in Fowey, south Cornwall? Check out our bar and restaurant review of Havener’s Fowey, from pub classics such as fish and chips to traditional British deserts such as sticky toffee pudding. Want to know some of the best places to eat and drink in Cornwall? Read our expert guide to some of the best bars and restaurant here…
Fowey is a pretty, buzzy harbour town in the south of Cornwall. Set in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, the town has a rich maritime history and, in season, the harbour is still filled with yachts (there’s also a Royal Regatta each summer). Narrow cobbled streets wind uphill from the quayside and there is a lively independent shopping, eating and drinking scene. Sitting in a prime position right on the quayside is Havener’s Bar and Grill, a restaurant with five stylish bedrooms and an apartment above it.
Havener’s Bar and Grill has recently been renovated and offers an all-day menu, but it makes an exceptionally cosy spot for dinner. Inside, the space is decorated in calm colours, thick stone walls keep out any blustery weather and the windows along the river side of the room mean there are lovely harbour views (the sunsets are particularly impressive). You can choose to eat either in the dog-friendly bar area if you have a furry friend in tow or the main restaurant (kids were also being well looked after on our visit).
We started with a Tarquin’s Cornish gin and tonic from the gin menu (here are our favourite British gins to try) but there’s also a really well-priced wine list, and good Cornish beers (definitely try the Mena Dhu Cornish stout) on tap or bottle as it’s owned by St Austell Breweries.
The hearty food menu has plenty of pub classics such as fish and chips, steak and burgers but also offers some slightly more refined cooking with lots of local fish and seafood. We tried a golden, crisp mackerel fish cake with a punchy soy and wasabi dip, Fowey river mussels with a kick of ginger and chilli served with a bucket of fluffy crunchy chips and a huge piece of perfectly flaky Cornish pollock with fondant potatoes and curried clams. We also had a chunky ham hock terrine with homemade piccalilli.
Desserts are quite traditional and portions are really, really generous – we shared a sticky toffee pud with salted caramel ice-cream so we could leave room for the Cornish cheese board but we were defeated by the end. Big appetites will not be disappointed. The service is as friendly and laid-back as you’d expect in a bar/grill place but the young staff were still very efficient and knew lots about the dishes on the menu.
We stayed in the Havener’s self-contained, two-bedroom Waterside Apartment (also dog-friendly). It comes with a huge wrap-around balcony overlooking the river and estuary with plenty of room for a table, chairs and loungers. The spacious rooms are cozily furnished and there is the same river view from the large lounge and dining room windows so you can happily read, eat, drink and doze in or out of the sun. The kitchen is really well equipped, too, so impromptu meals are easy to put together (the local family butcher and deli, Kittow’s, is great – worth a visit even if you just buy a chunk of Cornish Gouda) or just grab some takeaway fish and chips and a bottle of chilled white from around the corner and watch the sun go down.
Words by Janine Ratcliffe
Photographs by Havener’s